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The Plump 'n' Pluck

Time to hit the convenience store of beauty.

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Looking good for summer is hard work, but only because you don't know what you're doing. So instead of sweating it out on the treadmill, why not just pay someone to bring your inner beauty to the surface, or at least apply some outer beauty?

Local cosmetic facial surgeon Dr. Joe Niamtu (934-FACE) says that with the notable exception of teachers, who have the whole summer to recover, patients wisely avoid invasive procedures like clinical peels this time of year. More popular are facial procedures that Niamtu likens to spring cleaning.

"People clean off the patio furniture to get ready for summer," he says. "So this is the same sort of thing." Botox is a popular way to turn that frown upside-down. It costs anywhere from $200 to $600, he says, "depending on the areas involved."

Filler procedures "like having your lips plumped or wrinkles filled," Niamtu says ($350-$500), are relatively simple and help narrow the gap between you and Brangelina ever so slightly.  Also popular are pharmaceutical-based treatments for your complexion, or "cosmeceuticals" ($250), with no needles or lasers involved.

But what good's a beautiful face if it's attached to a hairy body? Michael Reeves, a senior stylist at Nesbit salon in the Fan (355-8775), says waxes are in demand for the summer.

The full Brazilian ($90) is for the brave, while the not-so-brave will go for High Bikini ($75) or Swimsuit Line ($50).

Eyebrow waxes ($25) are "probably the most popular," he says. "We just clean up the outside for a straight line."

For the hair on your head, Reeves recommends "bobs and bangs, with a lot of texture still" (haircuts $30-$100, depending on the stylist). There's also a surprising coloring trend of "going a little darker, with chocolate browns" (starting at $60 for single-process coloring).

Pedicures ($60) are essential if you want to show your feet to the world, and Reeves says flats and wedges will be the footwear of choice, while the colors in your wardrobe should be "pastel jewel tones like canary yellow — but white is still hot."

When it comes to applying makeup, Reeves says, less is more; the trend is for a cleaner look. "It should almost look like you don't have any makeup on," he says. S



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